Exploring This Old Abandoned Schoolhouse Will Give You The Creeps
Built in 1900 in Port Deposit, Maryland, the Jacob Tome School for Boys was funded and named after one of the richest men in the country at the time. After serving as a center for education, it would go on to wear many hats, including a training center for the Army and Navy during World War II.
Having been abandoned since 1990, the building is now a decaying skeleton of its former self, plagued by graffiti, arson, and the occasional homeless squatter. Redditor GuoKaiFeng snuck into its halls to see what was left of the old school…
When Jacob Tome arrived in Cecil County, Maryland, he was penniless, but after investing in a lumber company and railroads, as well as establishing four banks, he became the county’s first millionaire.
The rich businessman founded a school in Port Deposit in 1894 called the Jacob Tome School for Boys.
The school was a successful college preparatory school, and was part of a system of schools Tome founded that began with kindergarten and extended through high school.
Tome died in 1898, just four years after the school was founded. He left the project’s 3 million dollar endowment (worth over $85 million today) to his wife Evalyn. She went on to use the money to build the school.
Supervised by the famous architect Robert Peabody, the new campus was designed by William Boring and Edward Tilton, who had just completed the award-winning Ellis Island Immigration Station.
In 1900, the main buildings of the campus were constructed. Extra floors was added onto the original buildings providing a scenic view of the Susquehanna River. By 1902, the school had more than a dozen buildings.
Among other things, the school featured boarding houses, an outdoor swimming pool, batting cages, a gym, a theater, and a hotel for guest lecturers.
Many illustrious men once attended this school, including the children of the Mellon and Carnegie families.
Unfortunately, the Tome school’s funding eventually dwindled. By 1942, it was moved from the original campus to one in downtown Port Deposit.
When Pearl Harbor happened in 1941, the government was eager to buy training facilities for the Navy. After the school relocated, the property along with 50 parcels of nearby farmland was purchased to create a new campus for recruits.
Five hundred buildings were built to train new recruits. Around 38,000 personnel roamed the campus, doubling the population of Cecil County itself. The facility became known as USNTC Bainbridge.
The training center prepared over 350,000 sailors for battle in World War II.
The facility served a similar purpose during the Korean War, but due to maintenance problems, the program was discontinued.
Smaller schools continued operating on the campus for a while, but by 1976, all activity had closed except the Susquehanna Job Corps, which stayed until 1990.
In total, the USNTC Bainbridge graduated over 500,000 recruits.
It’s sad to see such an impressive institution, so intertwined with our history, fall to ruin.
The property was bought by the State of Maryland but was turned over to the Bainbridge Development Corporation. They plan on using it to form a multi-use community center, but unfortunately the main building mysteriously burned down in 2014.